Tag Archive | Good Men Project

Chopping down the tree

I took a couple of days off to write some guest posts.  I’ll include the link to the first one on Friday; the second hasn’t been published.  I’m back today to share some thoughts I had following (yet another) blow-up over something at the Good Men Project.  (Sigh.  No one should be at all surprised anymore at the misogynist fest that is GMP.)

When I was nine or ten, my parents had several full-sized trees removed from our yard.  The trees were all too close to the house, and at least one of them was in poor condition.  First, the workers cut down the trees and hauled them away.  When that job was done, they returned to do stump removal.  My parents then filled in the holes and planted new grass where the trees had been.  If you were to drive past their old house today, you would see no evidence that the trees had ever been there.

This is what I want to see happen to sites like GMP.

Every time that web site comes up because of another post about “accidental” rape, “misunderstandings” over what a woman’s “signals” mean, or expecting a “certain amount of rape” as part and parcel of one’s job, I want to scream.  I want to cry and throw things and stomp my feet until someone finally listens to the voices of the women who are being hurt over…and over…and over by these men and those who stand beside them to defend them.

Where, in all these stories, are the women (and men) who were victimized?  There is no question whatsoever in my mind that rapists know exactly what they are doing.  And by standing with them, web sites like GMP are allowing the diseased tree to flourish.  They have made it abundantly clear that instead of taking out the sickly tree of misogyny, they would rather just wrap it in bandages and leave it to hang over the roof.

We need to stop the overt misogyny, as evidenced in the most recent spate of rape apology (which I will not link to; besides being horribly triggering, I do not want to help them spread this message any further).  We need to collectively write about it—on our blogs, in the comments, and via direct emails to the editors.  We need to demand that they stop allowing a voice to perpetrators of crime in order to drum up sympathy.  We need to warn others to stay far away from the absolute garbage coming out of that site.  Those are all vital parts of this process.

We also need to take them out at the root.  The reason that GMP continues to publish these articles is both an underlying attitude on the part of the editors and an underlying attitude in society at large.  It may be true (as GMP claims) that they have “excellent” writers on their site who don’t engage in rape apology.  But their voices are being lost because of the ones who aren’t so excellent.  Those who write for GMP who genuinely do care about making real change need to stop writing for them.  Contributing to any publication willing to print rape apology or give voice to a known remorseless perpetrator of domestic violence are contributing to the continuation of such filth.

After my parents had so many trees removed, they not only replaced the grass, they planted a new tree.  I look forward to the day when we can be finished digging up the last of the stump of sites like GMP so that we can plant something better and healthier.

Notable News: Week of October 6-12, 2012

So, who knew?  That post I wrote about the Good Men Project last week is still getting attention.  Interesting.  Got linked up by Slacktivist and Sarah Moon, two of my very favorite bloggers.  Yay!  If you’re not reading their posts already, you should go check them out.

Anyway, in other news, lots of things going on:

1. Good Men Project made this week’s list again for their raging stupidity and misogyny.

Come on, guys.  That half-hearted attempt at an apology left much to be desired.  Go read this post from Dianna Anderson for the story, the link, and her words (better than mine) on why this is just so much cow crap wrapped up in ribbons and bows.  Does anyone really still think that GMP is innocent?

2. Death penalty for rebellious children?

I get mad at my kids.  I scold them, I punish them, I take away privileges.  But the thought has never even once crossed my mind that I should have the government put them to death.  I don’t use this phrase all that often, but I think it’s required here: What the holy fuck?!  I am a Christian (despite my use of the f-word); this lunatic does not represent me.  Let’s hope he doesn’t represent you, either.  Recovering Agnostic has a great take on Charlie Fuqua’s bizarre suggestion.

3. Yeah, it’s old, but…

I found this when researching for my blog posts on Fifty Shades.  While I would love for you to continue reading mine, Jen’s are much funnier.  The best part is, you don’t even need to read the books yourself, because she does a chapter-by-chapter analysis.  I’m reading her posts as I read through the series, if only because it makes it that much more tolerable.

Wish me luck, it’s the first concert of the season with my orchestra tomorrow night.  I’ll see you all on Monday with the next Fifty Shades installment.  Have a great weekend, everyone!

The Not-So-Good Men Project

Yesterday, I inadvertently got involved in a Twitter battle of sorts.  I retweeted someone else’s opinion about the Good Men Project, with which I happen to agree.  This is what it said:

Why don’t @goodmenproject just be honest & call themselves The Good Misogynist Project?

Well.  I didn’t start the controversy, but I certainly ended up in the thick of it.  You can read a good part of it here.

There’s enough overt misogyny in the articles themselves, as evidenced here, here, here, here, and here.  But the thing that bothers me is the attitude that “men need space to be men without having to be feminists.”  Guess what, dudes?  That already exists for you.  It’s called all the time, everywhere.  Just because we don’t want you all up in feminist space with your non-feminism doesn’t mean that you can’t do it someplace else.  You don’t need a whole web site, a whole magazine, a whole online kingdom in which to be manly men who aren’t “feminists.”

Additionally, it would behoove men to stop looking at respect for women as something to do because it hurts you if you don’t.  As in, “We men can’t be our authentic selves because Big Bad Patriarchy says we must be assholes to women, and if we treat them that way we won’t get what we want. Which is actually to be Big Powerful Manly Men who can wear aprons and stay home with our progeny.  Rrrrr.”

It’s absolutely true that patriarchy is bad for men.  You won’t hear me arguing.  But the reason for respecting women shouldn’t be because patriarchy is bad for you.  If we all based our treatment of others on the idea that it will hurt us if we don’t play nice, we will never actually achieve mutual respect.  Consider schoolyard bullies, for example.  Punishing them with trips to the principal and out-of-school suspension rarely deters them.  That’s because the rule is, “Don’t bully or you’ll get in trouble.”  That’s not enough of a reason for most kids to stop.

Respect for others should come from the fact that we’re all people—living, breathing humans with hopes, fears, failures, ambitions, passions.  Every person deserves respect.  And to bring this back to my original topic, women deserve respect not because men will be hurt if they don’t, but because we are every bit as worthy of respect as men.

Real Good Men exist.  I know because I married one.  I am related to them.  I have befriended them.  I have read things they’ve written.  I’ve met them in my travels and my online circles.  I saw them speak up in the Twitter conversation yesterday.

Good Men, use your voices.  Stand up for yourselves and stand beside us as we work toward ending misogyny.  Don’t let the Good Men Project speak for you.

Message to Good Men Project: Stay Out of My Bra

So, this.

For those who don’t want to be bothered reading and then coming back here, let me sum up: It’s an article at The Good Men Project (*shudder*) all about how awesome small boobs are.  (The kind on women’s bodies, not the idiot kind.)  At first, this sounds right on—a man who doesn’t think my body is only good if it meets some Hollywood standard?  Hell, yeah!  That is, until one takes a closer look.  Then all the Creepy Stalker goodness comes out.

Exhibits A-E:

  • Maybe we’re the ones quietly taking you in from five tables away. Listening to your voice. Your perspective. Your sense of humor. The witty way you referenced an F. Scott Fitzgerald line in the middle of ordering your drink.  And yes, don’t worry, we snuck a good, long look at your body.
  • Maybe there’s something fearless and yet vulnerable about your petite frame that draws us.
  • But there’s something about you A-girls that I just can’t shake.
  • Whatever it is, I, for one, am under your spell. I swoon when you walk into the room. I want your first dance, your next kiss, your every smile.
  • You have more admirers than you know.

So now small-breasted women everywhere can worry that some dude is following her every move at Starbucks while she orders her morning latte.  Fabulous.

I get it.  The author of this piece wasn’t really going for that angle (although he appears to have succeeded spectacularly).  He was going for the idea that women shouldn’t feel ashamed of our bodies, right? Right?  Call that one a fail.  Instead of helping women feel good about our bodies, he’s just implied that a)big boobs = frat bait; b)want a PhD? Too bad your tits are too big, you ignorant slut; and c)you know those small knockers you’ve got there?  Your smarts are just compensation for what Mama Nature forgot to dole out.

Check out what Mr. Small-Breasts-Fetish says about it:

  • We’re not the ones throwing themselves at you at the frat party. Or your friend’s wedding, countless drinks in.
  • Maybe we’re actually turned off by someone who’s used to transfixing men with her obvious, womanly attributes.
  • Some of us have learned from experience that small-breasted women often have larger minds. Or better moves on the dance floor. Or more optimistic attitudes when the chips are down. Because you’ve been overlooked by luck before.
  • This is for the lesser-endowed ladies of the world: the women who were dealt too lightly by Nature…

In (very reluctant) fairness, he does say that some of his “friends” who are well-endowed are smart and interesting.  But that’s after he’s dug his hole, and right before he returns to Creepy Stalker mode.  So I’m not sure that this off-hand comment can be taken seriously.

See, here’s the thing.  The problem isn’t just about whether men like big breasts or small ones, or big butts or skinny ones, or whatever.  It’s about that fact that this person doesn’t seem to understand much at all about women.  We don’t need to be reassured by him that our bodies are acceptable.  We don’t need a self-righteous man with a preference for A-cups to Change the World with his praise.

We women have changeable bodies.  Puberty, pregnancy, menopause.  Our shape may or may not remain the same over a lifetime.  What we need is not for someone outside ourselves to deem us Worthy.  We need to believe it ourselves.  We need to embrace our curves, our sleek lines, our muscles, our fat.  We need to love every inch of our own bodies and have confidence that this is exactly the body we were meant to live in.  Real men, the men who love and know us, understand this.  Real men embrace their wives even when pregnancy leaves us looking different than on our wedding day.  Real men still tell us we light their fires even after we’re no longer capable of giving them babies.  Real men, even if they’re attracted to us because of appearance at first, take the time to discover who we are.

Forget Hollywood, forget Good Men.  Women, let’s reclaim our bodies and honor ourselves and each other.